Speech & Language Strategies for Parents and Educators: Grammar and Vocabulary

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by Sophia Guarracino, Speech-Language Pathologist

by Sophia Guarracino, Speech-Language Pathologist

One of the most important points to keep in mind when your child or a student in your class is receiving speech and language services is the importance of carrying over intervention in both the home and school settings. It is ideal for parents, therapists, and educators to work together and discuss the techniques that will be effective for each child. There are many strategies that can be incorporated into a child’s daily routine to boost their speech and language skills. In this post, we will focus on two areas: grammar and sentence structure and vocabulary and word meanings.

Grammar/Sentence Structure: These strategies are intended for students who have difficulty with grammar and/or sentence structure.

  • If the child says something incorrectly, repeat it for them correctly in a natural way. Be sensitive about not calling negative attention to their language. For example, if the child says “I goed to the store.” You’d say, “Oh, you went to the store.”
  • When the child’s speech or writing contains grammar or word order errors, show them in writing the correct form.
  • When working with the child individually with written or oral language, repeat the error and ask the child how the sentence sounds. For example, if the child says or writes, “I goed to the store.” You say, “I goed to the store? Does that sound right?” If the child is unable to correct it, give them a choice. For example, “Which sounds better, ‘I goed to the store.’ or ‘I went to the store.’?”
  • For frequently occurring errors, build oral language practice into the daily routine for the entire class.


Vocabulary/Word Meanings: These strategies are intended for students who have difficulty with vocabulary/word meaning.

  • Prior to introducing new units or stories, compile a list of key vocabulary words. Discuss the words and their possible meanings with students.
  • When introducing words, try using a graphic organizer or visual mapping to come up with word relationships, including antonyms or synonyms.
  • When possible, pair a picture with the vocabulary words. When vocabulary is abstract and pictures are not available, try to relate the words to a personal experience to which students can relate.
  • Place words and definitions on note cards. Use the cards to play games such as matching or memory.
  • Create a word list with vocabulary and definitions to display in a visible place within the classroom.
  • Provide students with a vocabulary list including definitions one week prior to beginning a new unit.
  • Encourage the use of word-games at home (Tribond, etc.).
  • Consult with a speech-language therapist for more ideas using graphic organizers.